Senators and Representatives have voted upon a state budget that will present us with challenges in this next year for important community grants, children with special health care needs, medical care and prescriptions for individuals with disabilities and their families.
It is now up to the Governor and his team to make decisions on cuts that amount to about $57 million within the Division of Developmental Disabilities budget. Now the ball is in the Governor’s court and that is where our advocacy will now be directed.
The budget summary I sent to you earlier week is still accurate:
The only change of significance in the budget that was passed last night was the language added to every state institution’s budget line, for instance:
“The sum of $25,525,800, or so much thereof  as may be necessary, is appropriated from the General Revenue  Fund to the Department of Human Services for costs associated with the operation of Jacksonville State Operated Developmental Center or the costs associated with services for the transition of State Operated Developmental Centers residents to alternative community settings.”
Here is an exchange about this new language and the funding of Jacksonville from Senator McCann. Jacksonville is in his district:
In my opinion, this wording gives the Governor the authority to use funds budgeted for the operation of state institutions for transition purposes. How liberallly/conservatively the Governor interprets transition expenses will really determine the funding of community services in the new fiscal year.
My direct communications with the Governor’s office continue to be his strong support of his rebalancing initiative. I expect Jacksonville and Murray to close in the new fiscal year.
Here are the votes on the Department of Human Services budget. As I said above, this wording gives the Governor the authority to rebalance, so a “yes” vote on the budget doesn’t necessarily mean your legislator(s) support funding state institutions. However, I would recommend you ask them their rationale for voting “yes” or “no” on the DHS budget so they know you are watching their actions in the Capitol! In fact the voting was very much along party lines, meaning Democrats voted for the budget and Republicans voted against the budget.
Representative Crespo, a member of the House Appropriation Human Services, has stated thatRep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, said Republicans told him they would not support a budget that did not keep all state facilities open.
, “Republicans told him, they would not support a budget that did not keep all state facilities open.”
Link to House DHS Budget vote:
Link to Senate DHS Budget vote:
Next steps for action with the Governor:

  1. Transfer $39 million from state operations to community services for rebalancing.
  2. Fully fund community grants for respite care, dental clinics, UIC Family Clinic and Assistive Technology Unit, all Epilepsy Grants and the SIU Telemed Grant.
  3. Fully fund The Autism Program, Best Buddies and Illinois Life Span grants.
  4. Eliminate any financial caps on families who have children in the Medically Fragile Technology Dependent Children’s Waiver.
  5. Proceed with the closing of Jacksonville and Murray.

Be prepared to respond to our next Action Alert as we continue to review the state budget passed last night and the budget implementation bill as well.
Issues we will be working on in the new fiscal year which begins July 1stinclude:

  1. The state budget and possible further cuts
  2. Managed Care Phase 2 & 3
  3. Working on the cuts to health services and prescriptions drugs
  4. Closing two more state institutions
  5. Payment delays

Let me know your thoughts and other areas we should be concentrating our advocacy on.
We have our work cut out for us but we shall overcome! 

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)